Wolf Pack Hitting Stride with WAC Championships on Horizon
NAMPA, Idaho - For the third consecutive week, the University of Nevada track & field team improved on personal bests and top marks at the Jacksons Indoor Track during the Boise State Team Invitational hosted Saturday. Nevada’s head coach Shantel Twiggs was happy with the progress the team is showing with just two weeks left before Boise hosts the WAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 23-24, 2007.
“I am very pleased with where the team is competing at right now,” Twiggs said after Saturday’s meet. “That championship meet is really close and these athletes are showing marked improvement every time out. We’re not winning a lot of these events now, but our athletes are coming out and setting new personal bests with every performance. I’m starting to see that Nevada-factor’ materialize and I think we will really impact at conference in a couple of weeks.”
No team scores were kept for the meet. Despite not winning an event Saturday, Nevada posted 17 top-three finishes while breaking a number of personal records. Junior Analisa Serrano had two second place finishes and posted a personal best in the 60-meter hurdles. Serrano ran a time of 8.91 seconds in the hurdles and followed it up with another second place finish in the 200-meters at 25.53. Senior Ciara McMillan also had two top-three finishes placing second in the 60-meters (7.85) and third in the long jump (18’0.25”).
For the first time this indoor season, the Wolf Pack was able to get a healthy squad of distance runners on the track, and the best run came from a fresh-faced Nevada runner. Freshman Natalia Jarawka arrived from Poland just two weeks ago and had her eligibility fully cleared just this Thursday, and finished second in the 3,000-meters with a time of 10:11.87. Another Pack international student-athlete, Charlotte Schonbeck, hit big in her first meet of the year in the 800-meters finishing second at 2:14.25.
Not to be outdone by the track events, Nevada’s dependable field leaders fared well on their own. Senior Inger Appanaitis placed third in the weight throw with a top personal career mark of 54’4.75”, backing it up with a second in the shot put (43’7.50”). Junior Amanda Boice also tallied a second place finish in the high jump tying the event winner Theodora Xylaki from Boise State at 5’6.00” but recorded more misses on the way to that height giving Xylaki the edge. One week from nearly setting a school recorded in the triple jump, senior Ashley Mathis still missed a school mark, but still placed second Saturday at 40’1.50”.
The 2007 WAC Indoor Championships will be next up for the on the schedule after Nevada takes a week off. The Jacksons Indoor Track will be the site of the meet, one which the Pack has become very familiar with competing there the last three consecutive weeks, on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24. The Wolf Pack placed fifth with 77 points at the WAC meet last season. Nevada won back-to-back indoor titles in 2003 and 2004, but have struggled to break the top three places since.